Copa Cafe

Copa Cafe is a Hong Kong style cafe located on Cambie, near the King Edward Skytrain station. They have a pretty clean and comfortable interior with a fair number of seats available for both single diners and larger groups. I visited them during breakfast, which is available from 8:00 – 11:30 am. I had one of their combos, which came which came with your choice of two meats, toast and drink.

House Special Combo A+B ($11 + 0.75):


4/5
This comes with your choice of a Main A along with a Side Ingredient B, and comes with thick toast or French toast for an extra $0.75, as well as your choice of coffee or tea. I had Pork Chop, 2 Eggs, and substituted my toast for French toast. The pork chop was tender and juicy and nicely seasoned. The eggs were standard; a tad bland. I really enjoyed the French toast, which was crispy on the outside and had a great coconut filling.

I quite enjoyed the food at Copa Cafe: their French toast was great, as was their pork chop. The prices are also very reasonable. The service wasn’t great, which is generally expected of most Asian joints. All in all, this is a solid joint that I’d recommend visiting.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 2.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: French toast, Pork Chop
Copa Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bon Cafe

Bon Cafe is located on the corner of 33rd and Main. The place used to be, many years ago, some kind of Chinese dim sum shop. This has now been replaced a Vietnamese joint. They have a menu consisting of pho, rice dishes, vermicelli and drinks. I had their Grilled Lemongrass Chicken, Deep Fried Spring Roll on Rice Vermicelli and Vietnamese Coffee.

Grilled Lemongrass Chicken, Deep Fried Spring Roll on Rice Vermicelli ($12.25):


3.5/5
I really enjoyed the spring roll, which was very crispy and had a nice savoury filling. The chicken was quite tender and juicy, although I would have liked it to be a bit more charred, and it was a tad underseasoned. The pickled vegetables were quite nice, but

Vietnamese Coffee, Cold ($5):


4/5
This consisted of drip coffee in a filter that’s over a cup containing a layer of condensed milk. You wait for the coffee to slowly flow into the cup and mix it with the milk. I wanted the coffee to be cold, so it came with a glass of ice. The coffee was quite strong and had a perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness with the condensed milk.

I really enjoyed the food at Bon Cafe. The prices were a bit on the higher end, but not unreasonable. This is a spot that’s worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: 3/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Grilled Lemongrass Chicken, Deep Fried Spring Roll on Rice Vermicelli, Vietnamese Coffee
Bon Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Helen’s Grill

I’m not picky when it comes to hashbrowns; it doesn’t matter if it’s shredded, diced, whole or cubed potatoes, just as long as it tastes good, I’m happy. For some reason however, not many places appear to be able to make tasty hashbrowns. In most places, they turn out to be bland and/or mushy. Unfortunately, Helen’s Grill ended up falling into that camp. They are an old(er) diner located on the corner of King Edward and Main. Their seating includes a row of booths with jukeboxes on each table. Their menu consists of all day breakfast, lunch items and a few dinner and desserts. I had their Montreal Eggs Benny and Gyro with Chicken and Fries.

Montreal Eggs Benny ($13.95):


3/5
This comes with a side of hashbrowns. The eggs were poached overeasy, with the yolk being orange and runny. The hollandaise was creamy, but a bit underseasoned/bland for my taste. I also found their smoked meat to be a bit on the bland side, and tasted a bit watered down. Unfortunately, I really didn’t like their hashbrowns, which was mushy and very bland.

Gyro with Chicken and Fries ($13.95):


4/5
This comes with your choice of either chicken or lamb and a side of salad or fries (I had the fries). The pita was soft, and stuffed with a generous amount of filling; there was a good amount of chicken, which was tender and well-seasoned. The fries were thankfully a lot better than the hashbrowns, and were crispy and well-seasoned.

I really didn’t care for the hashbrowns at Helen’s Grill (to be fair though, I’ve never tried making them myself, so maybe it’s exceptionally difficult) and the eggs benny was just decent; however, their gyro was quite tasty. The prices are reasonable, and the service was fairly decent. This isn’t the greatest diner that I’ve been to, but I think it’s still worth a visit.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Gyro
Helen's Grill & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Long’s Noodle House

I’ve been to quite a few joints that were cash only. It was only Long’s Noodle House that the staff actually alerts the customers of the fact by shouting “Cash only” the moment you walk in through the door. I guess it might be because they had people in the past that didn’t know and didn’t have cash on hand. The shop itself is quite small and minimal, with maybe half a dozen table, about half of them large group tables. The menu is quite large, consisting of appetizers, dim sum, noodles and various meat and vegetable dishes. Glancing at the tables around me, I saw that everyone appears to be ordering Tan Tan noodles, Wine Chicken, Beef Rolls, and Xiao Long Bao. Now I’m not a fan of wine chicken (my mom makes it at home all the time anyways) and the staff appear to be mostly Cantonese who know jack squat about Shanghainese dumplings (just kidding by the way), I decided to get their Tan Tan with Meat Sauces Noodles and Beef Rolls.

Tan Tan with Meat Sauces Noodles ($9.50):


3.5/5
The noodles had a nice bouncy texture. The sauce was flavorful, being mildly spicey and having a slight peanut fragrance. I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t much ground meat present however.

Beef Rolls ($7.95):


3.5/5
The wrapping outside looked a bit anemic, and was a tad too tough and chewy, although still tasty. The filling itself was actually quite a bit like peking duck, except with beef: there was a sweet flavour of hoisin sauce and cilantro/scallions. I could have done with a little more beef, however.

I enjoyed my visit to Long’s Noodle House. The food wasn’t exception, though still fairly good, and the prices were reasonable. The service was pretty minimal, although the food arrives very fast and the staff were fairly friendly. This is a fairly solid Chinese restaurant; just be sure to have cash on hand.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 3/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Beef Rolls
Long's Noodle House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cafe Gloucester

You know what sucks about being a Shanghainese/Mandarin-speaking Chinese in Vancouver? Every time you enter a Cantonese shop/restaurant the staff always assumes that you know Cantonese and you end up looking/feeling like an idiot when you’ve got no idea what they are saying. The most recent incident of this happened during my visit to Gloucester Cafe. They are a Hong Kong-style restaurant located on Cambie. Like most restaurants of their kind, they have quite an extensive menu of Asian-Western fusion style dishes. Of course, the staff assumed that I knew Cantonese, and I did feel a bit embarrassed/awkward telling them that I didn’t understand what they were saying (especially when probably 90% of their customers are Cantonese speakers). Fortunately, they do speak English, and I was able to to order Macau Style Bun with Pork Chop and Gloucester Club House Spaghetti without trouble.

Macau Style Bun with Pork Chop ($10.99):


4/5
This comes with your choice of chicken, pork, or fish (I went with pork) and comes with fries and your choice of either coffee or tea (I had coffee). The pork chop was a bit chewy in some parts, but still tender, juicy, and flavourful. I really enjoyed the bread, which was crispy and nicely toasted on the outside and soft and chewy on the interior. The fries were decent; not the crispiest but still tasty and well seasoned. I found the coffee to be a bit weak for my taste: I actually thought it was tea, but it was creamy.

Gloucester Club House Spaghetti ($13.59):


3.5/5
This consisted of spaghetti in a tomato sauce containing ham, scrambled eggs, and mushrooms, and was topped with a sunny side up egg. The noodles were nicely cooked, being tender while retaining a bit of firmness. The sauce was pretty thick and coated the spaghetti well. I did find the flavours to be a tad one-note, but still tasty.

In spite of feeling a bit out of place, I did quite enjoy the food at Cafe Gloucester. Their prices are also very reasonable. The service is typical of most Chinese-style restaurants: the staff aren’t particularly attentive, but they are quite efficient. This is definitely worth visiting.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: 3/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Macau Style Bun with Pork Chop
Cafe Gloucester Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Trafiq

It’s always a great day when I’ve visited Trafiq. The latter is (in my opinion) probably the greatest bakery in Vancouver. They produce some gorgeous cakes that are (even more importantly) as tasty as they look, as well as a number of over tasty treats. During my latest visit, I had their Lemon Lavendar and Pear Brulee Cake, as well as 6 minis (Carrot Cake, Triple Chocolate, Mango Lassi Cheesecake with Pistachio, Ultimate Lemon Bar, Matcha Opera, and Raspberry Chocolate Tart, the latter two of which my mom ate).

Lemon Lavendar Cake Slice ($6.95):


4.5/5
This consisted of vanilla cake with lavendar mousse and lemon custard with lavendar whipped cream. The cake was very tender and moist. The cream was fresh, light and luscious with a wonderful fragrance of lavendar. The custard was light and tangy, with a great lemony fragrance.

Pear Brulee Cake Slice ($6.95):


4.5/5
This is one of their new features and will probably not stay on the menu for too long. It contains vanilla cake sandwiching layers of pear and caramel mousse, and was glazed in milk chocolate. The cake was again tender, soft and moist. The pear mousse had a wonderful spiced flavour while the caramel mousse was sweet with a wonderful fragrance.

Carrot Cake ($2.25 or $2 if you buy 6):
4.5/5
This is the mini version of their carrot cake, which you can buy a slice of for $6.95. The cake was very tender and moist, with a nice bit of spice. The cream cheese frosting was creamy and sweet, with a nice bit of tang.

Triple Chocolate ($2.25 or $2 if you buy 6):
4.5/5
This consisted of layers of milk and white chocolate mousse on top of a dark chocolate base. The mousse was creamy and luscious while the chocolate base was tender and moist with a nice bittersweet flavour.

Mango Lassi Cheesecake with Pistachio ($2.25 or $2 if you buy 6):
4/5
This consisted of a cheesecake on top of a cake-like base. The cheesecake was soft but creamy and tangy. I couldn’t really taste much of the mango, but it did have a nice spicy flavour. The cake was dense, but tender and moist.

Ultimate Lemon Bar ($2.25 or $2 if you buy 6):
4/5
This cosnisted of a lemon curd on top of a cake-like base. The curd was thick and creamy with a wonderful fragrance of lemon; I do wish that it could have a bit more tang. The cake was dense, but tender and moist.

Matcha Opera & Raspberry Chocolate Tart ($2.25 or $2 if you buy 6):


N/A

I’ve never been disappointed by Trafiq, and this visit was no exception. Although their prices have increased, they are more than worth the cost given the quality of their food. I seriously cannot recommend this place enough.

Summary:
Food: 4.5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4.5/5
Recommendations: Cakes, Minis
Trafiq Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Vietnamese Restaurant

So while I was writing my review for Vietnamese Restaurant, I actually had a bit of a hard time locating it on the internet. Type in “Vietnamese Restaurant Vancouver” and you get a bunch of hits. I then tried typing in “Vietnamese Restaurant, Main Street” and again I ended up getting several hits. More confusingly, for some reason the restaurant that I went to is called “Cambie Vietnamese Restaurant” even though it’s certainly NOT on Cambie. No, the place is located on Main Street, near King Edward Ave. In addition to popular dishes that you’d find at most places (lemongrass chicken, pho etc), they do also have some more less common dishes like stuffed chicken, seafood, and hot pot pilaf. I’ve tried their Chicken Grand-Mere Farcie and one of their dinner combos.

dav
Complimentary Tea

Chicken Grand-Mere Farcie ($11.99):


3.5/5
This was chicken that has been stuffed with mushroom, ground pork, and onions, and is served with rice and salad. The chicken was a tad overcharred and a bit on the underseasoned side, but still tender and tasty, with a great fragrance from the mushrooms. I did also quite enjoy the salad, which was nicely dressed and had a sweet/tangy flavour.

Combination D ($13.99):


4/5
This came with pork brochette, Vietnamese roll dip, Vietnamese steamed crepes, prawns imperial, and rice vermicelli. It is served with vinegar, some sweet/sour dip for the spring rolls, and also peanut sauce at your request (which I strongly recommend getting, unless if you’re allergic to peanuts of course). I loved the roll dip and prawns imperial, both of which are similar to spring rolls, and are very fresh, hot, crispy and full of fillings. The pork brochette was quite tender and had a nice charred flavour. The steamed crepes are similar to rice rolls, and contain ground pork inside; I did find it to be a tad bland on its own, but it was very good with the peanut sauce.

I really enjoyed my trip to “Cambie” Vietnamese Restaurant. The food was quite tasty; I particularly enjoyed their fried foods like Vietnamese roll dip (which is actually a spring roll) and Prawns Imperial (another type of spring roll). The staff are also friendly and greet customers as ‘brother’ or ‘sister’, and the prices are quite reasonable. This is definitely a place that’s worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Vietnamese Roll Dip, Prawns Imperial

 Vietnamese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hawker’s Delight

Being both broke and having a large appetite, I’m always on the lookout for cheap eats. I’ve been hearing some good things about a shop, known as Hawker’s Delight, that specializes in Malaysian food at very affordable prices. I’ve recently had a chance to check them out. They are a small casual eatery with a limited number of seating; you order at the front counter and they bring you your food once it’s ready. During my visit, I had their Roti Prata, Chicken Curry Noodle, and Fried Kuey Teow.

Roti Prata ($2.75):

dav
Roti Prata

5/5
This is served with a small side of curry for dipping. The bread itself was seriously just fantastic: warm, soft and flaky. The curry also had a great fragrance of coconut as well as a slightly sweet flavour that paired great with the bread.

Chicken Curry Noodle ($9.05):


4/5
This contained noodles in a curry broth with potatoes and chicken. The chicken itself wasn’t really curried however, but was rather like Hainese chicken that was added to the noodles. It was tasty however, and was tender, juicy and well-seasoned. The noodles had a nice bouncy texture and the broth was very flavourful with just a slight bit of heat. It was quite a good portion for $9.05, and filling.

Fried Kuey Teow ($9.05):


4/5
This consisted of broad rice noodles stir fried with egg, bean sprout, prawns, fish cake, shredded chicken and green vegetable. You can have it spicy or non-spicy; I had the spicy version and found it to have just a slight kick without being overly hot. I really enjoyed the texture of the noodles, which were chewy and bouncy. There were only a few prawns, but a good amount of fish cakes. The portion size was not enormous, but more than generous for just $9.05.

I’m thoroughly impressed by Hawker’s Delight. All of their food was very tasty, and their prices are very reasonable, especially given their quality and reasonably generous portions. Definitely check this place out if you’re looking for some affordable food, or just tasty food in general.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4.5/5
Recommendations: Roti Prata, Chicken Curry Noodle, Fried Kuey Teow
Hawker's Delight Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Trafiq

I always get excited every time I visit Trafiq, which is still my favourite bakery in all of Vancouver. The place has the most stunning cakes that I have ever seen that actually taste every bit as great as they appear. Honestly, if the world is coming to an end, I’d spend the final days at Trafiq eating all of their treats. During my latest trip, I had their Schnecken, Decadent Brownie with Pecans, Carrot, Exotique, and Chocolate Decadence Cakes, and a Butter Croissant for my mom.

dav
The gates of heaven

Schnecken ($3.75):


4/5
This was their version of a sticky/cinnamon bun, and consisted of a roll that is covered in toffee sauce and bits of walnuts. The bread itself was quite soft, tender and fluffy. I loved the toffee sauce, which was gooey, had a great caramelized flavour, as well as a wonderful fragrance from the nuts.

Carrot Cake ($6.95):


4/5
This consisted of four layers of carrot cake sandwiching cream cheese frosting. The cake was moist, had a nice flavour of cinnamon and other spies, and was chock full of nuts. The cream cheese frosting was smooth and not too heavy, and had the great tangy flavour that I love. Unfortunately the slice that I got was a bit older (it was the last one remaining from the entire cake), and I did find the almond and cereal decorations to be stale-tasting.

Decadent Brownie with Pecans ($3.75):


4.5/5
This was topped with a layer of chopped nuts. The brownie itself was very dense and fudgy, just the way that I like, with a great chocolaty flavour. The nuts lent a wonderful crunch, fragrance, as well as just a tad of salt. This is a very basic treat that’s done very well.

Exotique Cake ($6.95):


4.5/5
“Silky coconut mousse, refreshing tropical fruit, “semi-freddo”
This is one of their new summer flavours (which may or may not remain on the menu for long). The cake was, as expected, incredibly tender and moist, and the mousse was luscious with a wonderful fragrance from the coconut. The layer of fruit in the middle (which appears to contain mango and pieces of pineapple) had a great tartness. The one complaint I have is that the filling was rather wet, and did make the cake just a bit soggy. This is a very tropical and refreshing dessert, and perfect for those looking for something a bit lighter.

Chocolate Decadence Cake ($6.95):


5/5
This consisted of layers of chocolate cake and mousse, enclosed in a thin layer of chocolate ganache and is topped with a chocolate truffle. This is one of my favourite cakes in all of Vancouver, and I just have to get it every time I visit Trafiq. The cake is moist, dense and rich while the mousse is smooth and luscious, with a perfect bitter sweet flavour. The truffle has the texture of a really dense and fudgy brownie. The slice is pretty generous – some people may be able to share but I can polish off one easily. Seriously, I can probably polish off 2-3 slices if I don’t control myself.

Butter Croissant ($3.25):

dav
Butter Croissant

N/A
My mom had this. She absolutely LOVED it and thought that it was one of the best plain croissants that she’s ever had.

I loved everything from Trafiq. They are still easily the greatest bakery in all of Vancouver. Their prices have increased since last year: their cake slices are now going for close to $7 (from $6). However, given the incredible quality (and pretty good portion), I think that the prices are more than worth it. All in all, if you like sweets at all, seriously go and treat yo self at Trafiq.

Summary:
Food: 4.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4.5/5
Recommendations: Schnecken, Brownies, Any of their Cakes
Trafiq Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jethro’s Fine Grub

It’s always sad when I see a non-chain restaurant close down, but that just seems to be a common occurrence in Vancouver nowadays. One of the latest victims to fall is the Dunbar location of Jethro’s Fine Grub. Even though I wasn’t completely blown away by their Gold Rush Pancakes – I thought that they had too much baking soda in them – I did really like their Banana Bread French Toast (whcih was seriously just as good as it sounds). Moreover, their portion sizes were seriously huge. I’m a massive eater, and in 95% of cases I can easily put down a plate of food that other reviewers claim is large enough to stretch into two meals. I seriously could not finish a stack of their pancakes. In fact, Jethro’s currently holds the ‘honours’ of being the only place that I’ve visited thus far where I could not finish a serving of their food. RIP.

Fortunately, Jethro’s does have another location on Fraser, which is currently still operating. Not knowing how long that place is going to stay open, and wanting to make sure that I get at least another go at their huge pancakes, I paid them a visit. I got their Rooster Pancakes a side of Biscuits & Gravy, and a side of their Pulled Pork.

The Rooster ($14):

dav
The Rooster pancakes – massive!


3.5/5
This consisted of two buttermilk pancakes that are stuffed with chocolate chips and are topped with whipped cream. Jethro’s are known for having probably the largest pancakes in Vancouver, with each pancake being about 2-3 times larger than most places. I quite liked the texture, with the pancakes being quite light and fluffy. Previously, I’ve had issues with the overpowering flavour of baking soda; this time around, it actually wasn’t nearly as bad (I could still taste it, but it wasn’t nearly as strong). I loved the chocolate chips, which were sweet and gooey – I do wish that they had more of it present. I do have to mention that the top pancake is better than the bottom one, which is much flatter (perhaps from being squished by the top one) and smaller. Of course, with all the other food that I had ordered, I was not able to make much of a dent into my pancakes and ended up taking most of the dish home in their pizza-sized boxes.

Side Biscuits & Gravy ($6):


3.5/5
This consisted of two large pieces of biscuits smothered in gravy. The gravy was a bit overly thick, but was not gummy and still quite enjoyable. The biscuits had quite a hard outer crust (you can’t cut through it; you have to pick the biscuit up and bite it), but a relatively tender interior. While neither the biscuits nor the gravy were particularly salty on its own, I did find that when eaten together it does get a bit too much (and I’m one who loves salt). It is quite filling, and a very good deal for only $6.

Side Pulled Pork ($4):

dav
Side Pulled Pork

2.5/5
The pork was quite tender and juicy. Unfortunately, it was seriously underseasoned: it was just flavourless and bland on its own. I did enjoy it with my side of biscuits however.

I really enjoyed my visit to Jethro’s. Although the food’s not exactly mindblowing, it was still very enjoyable and being the gluten I am, I love their huge portions. The service is also very good for the type of place it is: the server I had was very friendly and attentive. All in all, I’d recommend checking this place out for some affordable and reasonably tasty diner food. Just be warned, they do only take cash or debit (I know that their site appears to say they accept visa as well, but that’s not the case).

Summary:
Food: 3/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Rooster Pancakes, Biscuits & Gravy, Banana Bread French Toast (from previous visit)
Jethro's Fine Grub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato